Through classes in improvisation, mime, scene study and play production, students develop the skills of vocal and physical expression which make them effective communicators.

Rehearsal and performance of classic and contemporary plays, along with student-generated and original scripts, provide students with the opportunity to develop additional skills of collaboration and cooperation.

  • Upper School: Act Out!

    This course is a fun, hands-on way to learn about acting in the theatre. The course is designed for students new to theater as well as for those who want to hone their dramatic skills. During the first trimester, students will work to build ensemble through theater games, improvisation, and Applied Theatre exercises, tackling improvisation and in-depth character studies by working in groups and performing for each other. During the second trimester, students will learn how to study scenes, write their own plays, and perform their creations for each other. In the third trimester, students are encouraged to work on creating original scenes and plays based on their shared interests.

  • Upper School: Mime, Mask, and Improvisation

    This class is designed for actors and dancers who want to enrich their physical theater skills. It's a great class for experienced performers but can also be an appropriate course for dedicated beginners who are comfortable taking risks and want to try their hand at mask, theater, mime illusion, and advanced improvisation. After introductory units in the three main disciplines, the ensemble spends several weeks creating new work which it then performs in a variety of venues, including a full production at the end of the year.

  • Upper School: Musical Theatre/Play Production Ensemble

    This is an intensive year-long performance class for students interested in co-creating and investing in the future of theatre. Students rehearse and perform productions during the year for the general public (yes, even online remotely). Auditions are required and casting for each show is done according to the capacity, as well as the demands of each production and the schedule conflicts of the ensemble members. It is also possible to be a stage manager or costume designer for the productions.

    Students will have the opportunity to hone dramatic skills, build an ensemble and sense of community through collaboration. They will learn acting techniques, strengthen their language skills, critical thinking, dialogue, concentration, and cooperation skills. The objective of this course is to create empowerment of individuals and community toward equitable solutions through the use of theatre to inspire transformation and lasting change in our shared educational space and the outside world.

  • Upper School: Spoken Word

    This course is a journey through performance poetry. Students discover their voice through the study and creation of poetry, and illuminate this voice in performance. Students collaborate with other artistic disciplines, including music and movement, and view current cultural issues through a critical lens. This course is seriously fun. Students will refine skills writing and editing poetry, public speaking, improvisation, collaborative writing, hip hop lyricism, and personal reflection. Writers and seasoned stage performers alike can expect to leave the class articulating their thoughts with more clarity and deeper confidence as they engage their world.

  • Upper School: Stagecraft

    This course introduces students to a basic understanding of principles of scenic design, lighting design, sound design, costume design, stage management, and other technical aspects of the theatre. All students learn how to build a set with power tools, hang lights, wire theatre electrics, build sound cues, and create costumes. Select students learn stage management, costume construction, and programming light boards. Students in this class act as the technical staff for the Upper School play productions, gaining experience in a real-world environment. Students are required to attend all theatre productions, and work backstage on at least one crew.

  • Upper School: Theatre as Communication (ELL 9)

    This is a required course for international students enrolled in the 9th grade ELL program at The Northwest School. It is designed as an introductory course, complementary to the ELL program and the Humanities curriculum. This interdisciplinary course encourages students to explore their artistic disposition in pursue of self-expression and aesthetic knowledge. Concurrently, students strengthen their English language proficiency within a safe academic environment that encourages their creative and critical thinking. This course introduces them to the art of storytelling through creative writing and drama; elements of dramaturgy, improvisation, and monologue; scene study, and the making of short films. As new members of The Northwest School, students engage in collaborative projects with other classes and expand their community life. A highlight of this course is the Speaker Guest Series, a conduit to future academic opportunities within the Performing and Visual Arts. The Theatre as Communication course is committed to foster the mission and values of The Northwest School through the merging of national and global current relevant topics into its curriculum.

  • Middle School: 6th Grade Drama

    This class for 6th graders explores foundations of the art of theatre through creative drama, improvisation, and other interdisciplinary arts activities. Students learn to use their “theatre voice” to express ideas about their identity and their community.

  • Middle School: Acting Intensive

    This class is designed for acting students who want to improve their skills and knowledge base in theatre and acting. Students will select short scripts, scenes or create their own original works to explore the fundamentals of theatre (theatre history) and beyond. The class emphasizes advanced vocal and physical body work based in movement, Suzuki, and viewpoints training

  • Middle School: Advanced Theatre

    A full-year course designed to strengthen each student’s theatrical and acting technique while building an ensemble and a sense of community. Students work toward sharing performances that are based in Applied Theatre pedagogy, with a strong concentration around critical thinking and dialogue, and social justice issues that matter most to them. This class empowers students through the use of theatre as a tool to inspire positive change and transformation in the world they want to be active participants in. Students wishing to be in a fall performance must audition in the spring.

  • Middle School: Come Play!

    Have you ever wanted to tell a story? Have you ever wanted to see your story on the stage? In this class we work with scripts from known playwrights and also scripts the students write. We work on character development, improvisation, movement, and theater games, to bring both sorts of scripts to life.

  • Middle School: Improv Theater

    This class focuses on developing spontaneous storytelling, collaboration, creative problem solving, and character development skills. Students participate in fun, warm-up exercises and performance games, and put on a final performance.

  • Middle School: Sixth Grade Drama

    This class will explore foundations of the art of theatre through creative drama, improvisation, and other interdisciplinary arts activities. Students will learn to use their “theatre voice” to express ideas about their identity and their community.

  • Middle School: Sketch Comedy

    Students in this class create and perform original, classical, and contemporary comedy sketches. Students have opportunities to design and produce costumes, set pieces, and lighting.

Performance Calendar